Communication Stack

A clear strategy for client communication and coordination.

Adding the expertise of an outside 3rd party can be a huge win for your organization. It can also add a few communication challenges.

As the project owner you have to coordinate a lot of moving pieces. Your 3rd party vendor should help you navigate this.

That’s because we’ve all seen …

Emails evolve into endless threads. Todo lists get lost in the fray. Needed files sent to one person and never seen by another.

This juggling act is a huge time waster. It can also undermine the success of your project.

Thankfully, there is a better way!

At King Grizzly we use a client-communication process developed to reduce confusion, increase productivity, and offer clear project visibility.

We call it the Communication Stack.

Getting the Basics Right

As a digital marketing and design company, communicating with clients isn’t just important to us, it is fundamental to the success of our business.

Our communication process keeps things…

  • Simple
  • Consistent
  • Flexible

Keeping it simple is about reducing friction points. We make it easy for entire teams to communicate and coordinate with us.

Being consistent sets clear expectations for everyone. With all parties on the same page it is easier to get things done.

Lastly, we’re flexible. It may seem odd to pair consistency with flexibility, but the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. We give clients choices in how they engage so everyone feels empowered to do their best.

The Secret Sauce isn’t so Secret

The King Grizzly communication stack is not a product and we didn’t create the applications that power it.

In fact, most of the tools we use are common place. The real value is found in how we utilize them with clients.

Here is how we do it.

How the Communication Stack Works

Client interaction general fits into one of five categories. We have a designated solution for each category-all together they make up our communication stack.

I’ve listed the five categories along with our preferred solutions below. In cases where a client has a preferred method or application, we are happy to make adjustments to suit their needs.

Project Management

Tool: Trello
Client Cost: Free

Projects are comprised of many smaller tasks. Trello does a great job tracking tasks throughout their lifecycle.

Clients can add tasks, set due dates, make comments, upload files and track every task from idea to completion. This reduces the need for endless email updates and gives the client clear visibility into their project’s status.

Watch the video below for a brief demonstration of how we use Trello with clients.

Chat

Tool: Slack
Client Cost: Free

We like to use Slack as our chat tool of choice. Every King Grizzly client gets a dedicated Slack Channel for their team.

This channel is a direct line into King Grizzly and creates a running conversation everyone on the team can reference.
If a client needs immediate feedback their King Grizzly Slack Channel is a handy way to reach out and get a quick response from our team.

Once again, this cuts down on endless email threads, and allows back and forth, chat style conversations.

Video Conference / Screen Sharing

Tool: Appear.in
Client Cost: Free

We like Appear.in for video conferences because it doesn’t require guests to set up an account or login.

Anyone with the link can hop on. This makes inviting additional team members easy.

Appear.in also allows screen-sharing which comes in handy for walk throughs and feedback sessions.

File Sharing

Tool: Google Drive
Client Cost: Free

Sharing files is essential for most projects. We keep it simple.

Every client gets a dedicated google drive folder where we keep shared creative assets. No more fruitless searches for lost items.

Everyone knows where to share and find their files.

Email

Tool: Take your pick
Client Cost: Depends

Sometimes, email is still the right fit for sending or receiving something.

Also, some clients prefer email. That’s ok with us!

We have found that using Trello and Slack significantly reduces the amount of emails that get sent, but we still send and receive them on a regular basis.

Heading for Success

Ultimately, our goal is to help our clients be successful. To do so, we have to communicate and coordinate clearly.

Having a pre-determined plan of action is essential.

Our communication stack has proven effective, but we’re always looking to improve and make the experience even better for our clients.

If you have a project you’d like to discuss with King Grizzly, give us a holler!

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Robb Erickson